3D Printing ProcessesAdditive ManufacturingAutomotive

How PIX Moving is using WAAM to reshape the future of e-mobility

Stay up to date with everything that is happening in the wonderful world of AM via our LinkedIn community.

PIX Moving is working to reshape the future of city life by fully exploiting autonomous mobility and bringing mobility to traditionally fixed brick and mortar business spaces. The team developed many electric chassis platforms of various sizes, that customers use as a base to develop their ideas. A few days ago we reported on the company’s unique use of generative design and WAAM technology. Now Mechanical Design Engineer Siddharth Suhas Pawar expands on that, presenting the business case for the use of WAAM processes in actual production.

“Since we started selling, we have seen our customers use them as testbeds for their self-driving algorithms,” says Siddharth Suhas Pawar. “They use them as a base to develop products such as autonomous cargo vehicles, moving restaurants, and for research purposes at universities. Our chassis platforms are fully electric, with four-wheel steering, use hub motors, and easy to use drive-by-wire systems.

PIX Moving WAAM Why 3D printing, why WAAM?

Because most of PIX’s sales are targeted at businesses, customizability is a key factor. A lot of customers need chassis of customized lengths, widths and capacity. “3D printing became necessary to meet these changing needs,” explains Suhas Pawar, “as it is difficult, time-consuming and expensive to manufacture customized chassis with traditional manufacturing techniques.

WAAM turned out to be significantly more cost-effective than traditional manufacturing. This is due to two primary reasons. One is the reduction in the number of parts- leading to a reduction in assembly time, and thus human labor.

In addition, WAAM is inherently affordable. The cost of metal wire, even for the high-strength aluminum alloy used by PIX, costs $10 US per Lg. “Our generative design chassis weighs about 60kg,” says Suhas Pawar, “If you do not consider the initial costs of robot and welding equipment, the only other cost is electricity, A lot of the products we sell now have a fully 3D printed chassis”.

Why wire and not powder?

For powder-based AM, at present, the cost is a big obstacle, and a significant reduction of powder printing costs is not expected in the short term. “In our opinion, metal parts over 1 meter wide still need to look to metal wire printing,” Suhas Pawar explains. “The heat source can be arc or laser, but the material needs to be wire. For metal parts over 1 m, Direct Energy Deposition (DED) with wire is the right technology.”

PIX Moving WAAM

“The fundamental difficulty is that WAAM just cannot make complex parts, because of the relatively large minimum feature size(2mm), and because metal needs relatively more time to solidify. This implies that it is not possible to print at sharp overhang angles, In fact, in the earlier stages on our work, it was about 20 degrees with the vertical. What WAAM can do, is print really big things, like rocket structures, chassis, a lot faster than powder-based AM, and a lot cheaper.

Adding generative design to Pix Moving WAAM

“Generative design, combined with affordable AM yields a complete system. Only a complete system can bring a great sense of change and lead to value creation. The generative design chassis that PIXMOVING 3D printed weighs 60 kg, compared to 130 kgs of their traditionally manufactured chassis “That’s because we implement a topology optimization technique.”

PIX Moving WAAM

THe PIX Moving team used generative design in other ways too, by combing parametric design with evolutionary algorithms. In the future, this technology will be used to let customers design their own chassis on a website, where they can quickly change the width, length, capacity, and other parameters within minutes.

Research 2021
Ceramic AM Market Opportunities and Trends

This market study from 3dpbm Research provides an in-depth analysis and forecast of the ceramic additive ma...

Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based 3dpbm. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore, as well as 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

Related Articles

Back to top button

We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By agreeing you accept the use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.

Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • PHPSESSID
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

Decline all Services
Accept all Services

STAY AHEAD

OF THE CURVE

Join industry leaders and receive the latest insights on what really matters in AM!

This information will never be shared with 3rd parties

I’ve read and accept the privacy policy.*

WELCOME ON BOARD!